What skills do you need to be a consultant?

FORMER McKinsey consultant Victor Cheng provides us with an interesting insight. The skills that get you hired as a consultant are not the same skills that get you promoted, and the skills that get you promoted are not the same skills that take you to the top.

You get hired for your analytical skills, you get promoted based on management skills and client skills, and you go all the way to the top based on sales skills.

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4 Replies to “What skills do you need to be a consultant?”

  1. Hi, I really want to get a well informed answer on this very pressing question that I have been having for the last few months. Can a CFA help with management consulting? Is it a good thing to have. Yes of course I know it can’t hurt (pbviously) but my question is can it help?? Thanks so much to whoever replies!

  2. Hi Ash,

    I wrote a post on the CFA a while back:

    As you know, I have done the CFA Level 1 exam. I found it to be very useful in giving me an understanding of different types of investments and an appreciation for the time value of money. These are things that it is interesting and useful to understand if you are in management or advising management. Obviously, how much value you get out of the CFA day-to-day will depend on what type of consulting you are doing, or hope to be doing.

    Instead of asking “can the CFA help?” I would be asking (1) “does the CFA interest me?”, and (2) “do I have a natural aptitude for this kind of work?”. If your answer to (1) or (2) is “no” then this should raise a red flag. My advice would be, play to your strengths and do things that interest you.

    Hope that helps,

  3. Tom thank you so much for the wonderful posts that you have put up. I got to learn a lot about consulting. I am an engineer graduate hoping to land a job in a consulting firm which i know will take me places if I am really good at my job. Thank you once again.

    Waiting to hear from the consultant companies if I’m selected to which firms I applied for

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